Book Review: “The Valkyries by Paulo Coelho”

Recently, while I was reading biographies of some great dreamers, such as Kahlil Gibran, I pondered the word ‘dream’ and how influential it is in an individual’s life. One night, I asked myself a question, which I want each one of you to think over: what does it mean to dream?

Our fantasies may be called a dream. The ambitions towards which we work, our thoughts and visions, these are called dreams.

My musings led me to a bookshop where I picked up a book based on the theme of dreams. But this time, the dream is a very unusual one, which demands a long journey and some untypical rituals.

The image is a close up of my hands, surrounded by nature. I am holding and reading “The Valkyries" by Paulo Coelho.

In this book, Paulo Coelho, along with his wife Christina Oiticica, embark on a journey to the Mojave Desert to find Paulo’s angel. Paulo, as each of his reader knows, is on a path of spiritual awakening. He journeys to the driest desert in North America with a virtuous ambition: to speak to his Angel. In many religions, angels are the messengers of God and, as it is said, there’s a guardian angel looking over each of us.

It’s a strange wish, but Paulo takes risks achieving it. First, he meets Gene, a young man who has seen and conversed with his angels. Gene, however, is unable to teach Paulo how to reach his own angels, due to some spiritual restrictions.

However, he does inspire Chris, Paulo’s wife, and teaches her to listen to her second mind and concentrate on her surroundings. This way, she can concentrate and learns the secrets of the spiritual path Paulo is already undertaking. Chris starts talking to her angels. Gene, with deep sorrow, asks Paulo to find his angels by another means, as destiny has not permitted him to teach Paulo.

Eventually, the disheartened Paulo finds the Valkyries, a group of bold American women, clad in leather jackets, travelling through the Mojave Desert on their motorbikes. Despite the local people of the desert loathing them, the Valkyries believe in themselves and the power of their dreams.
Valhalla, the head of the group, identifies Paulo as a student of spiritualism and accepts the role of teaching him how to see his angels. According to Valhalla, to see their angels, one must “break the pact, ask for forgiveness and make a bet.”

Paulo’s words are never simple to understand; they consist of many meanings. Here, Valhalla’s statement is deeper than her literal words. She teaches Paulo to forget his past, forgive his sins and fulfil his dreams.

Valhalla takes them to the old abandoned fort, where Paulo meets his disturbing past once again. She asks him not to try to escape from his thoughts, but to embrace them. Only in this way will he be able to forget them. Valhalla calls this exercise a ritual, and it helps Paulo more than he could have imagined. After a series of rituals, Valhalla leaves Paulo, telling him he has to call his angel alone.

In the end of the novel, Paulo finally gets to speak to his angel, and his dream comes true.
This novel is a beautiful representation of wishes, dreams and the power of women. Women in all fields of life have a tendency to do important things and to help a bigger cause. If Valhalla or the Valkyries would not have been there, Paulo’s dream would have been shattered. But, with the help of those bold motorbikers, Paulo met his angel. The Valkyries act as angels themselves and their bikes as wings.

The Valkyries stood by what they thought was right. They were loathed by the locals, but they followed their hearts and inspired the world. Feminists all around the world are the Valkyries of this era. They stand for what is right, and, although they are loathed by some, they inspire many. They are the angels all around.

It is said that behind every successful man, there’s a woman. But I’ve never heard that behind every successful woman, there’s a man. This is because women can accomplish their goals alone. Paulo needed Valhalla’s help to see his angels, but Valhalla met her angels alone, without the help of anyone. This is the power of a woman.

“The Valkyries” touched my heart and my soul whirled on each word. This novel is another masterpiece written by Paulo Coelho which enlightens your soul and awakes your mind. May Equality Rule!

By: Yashal Jalil

Disclaimer: The views expressed in this piece do not necessarily reflect the views of the Sydney Feminists. Our Blogger and Tumblr serve as platforms for a diverse array of women to put forth their ideas and explore topics. To learn more about the philosophy behind TSF’s Blogger/ Tumblr, please read our statement here:


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